Hours after the earning the Central Information Commission's criticism over information regarding the development of the Aarogya Setu mobile application, the government on Wednesday evening came out with a clarification.
"The AarogyaSetu App was developed in a record time of around 21 days, to respond to the exigencies of the Pandemic with Lockdown restrictions only for the objective of building a Made in India Contact Tracing App with the best of Indian minds from Industry, Academia and Government, working round the clock to build a robust, scalable and secure App," a statement issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said.
"The names of all those associated with the development of the App and management of the App ecosystem at various stages was shared when the code was released in Open/Public Domain and the same was shared widely in media also," the statement added.
Earlier in the day, the ministry and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) told CIC that they have no information about the "creation" of the Aarogya Setu application promoted by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19. The CIC termed the response as "preposterous".
Information Commissioner Vanaja N Sarna, in a terse order, pointed out that the website of the application mentions that the content on it is "owned, updated and maintained" by MyGov and MeitY and directed the CPIO of the ministry to explain why they didnt have the requisite information.
"The CPIO NIC also should explain that when in the website it is mentioned that Aarogya Setu Platform is designed, developed and hosted by National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India, then how is it that they do not have any information about creation of the App," she said.
The Information Commissioner was hearing the plea of one Saurav Das who had sought to know from the government details about the creation of Aarogya Setu application, the law under which it is functioning and whether the government was planning to bring a separate law about the handling of data collected by the application.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) did not provide any information, prompting Das to file a complaint under the RTI Act.
(With PTI inputs)